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Understanding South Pacific Weather
Last updated: Dec 2011

We are pretty experienced cruisers and feel comfortable normally interpreting our own weather.  However, our familiarity was with the Caribbean—Northern Hemisphere—weather.  We were a little stumped when we first launched off from mainland South/Central America for French Polynesia.  (We still have trouble remembering that everything’s backwards when weather systems pass).

Several really good sources of instructional material on South Pacific weather exist.

1.    Bob McDavitt’s “Mariner’s Met Pack for the Southwest Pacific” ISBN 1-877197-08-04 published by Captain Teach Press, Auckland, NZ.  Though Bob is located in NZ and his weather focus is mainly the western portion of the South Pacific, his instruction manual covers a lot of useful information for the South Pacific in general.  Purchase online: Waypoint Books or Bluewater Books  or BoatBooks from NZ. If you can’t find it, email Bob at bob@metbob.com

2.    Jim Corenmans “Letters from the South Pacific” originally published in the late 1990’s in Latitude 38 Magazine.  Copies of this series of articles are floating around among boaters, and might be found on Latitude 38’s website.  Jim had a great article on understanding South Pacific weather that is still really helpful to newbies entering French Polynesia.

Download from here: JimCorenman-SouthPacificLetters.pdf 

3.    David Sapiane’s Weather for the Yachtsman.  I think I downloaded this document from the Pangolin site:

       http://www.pangolin.co.nz/node/59

or the Pacific Puddle Jump Yahoo site.  It is an 11-page Word document dated June 2008, with a bunch of good information on terminology and understanding weather for the South Pacific.

4.    Some practical tips on planning a passage can be found here:
http://www.pacificyachtdeliveries.com/weather-advice.html

5.  The Hacking Family has a great circumnavigation website, and their South Pacific weather page is here: http://hackingfamily.com/Cruise_Info/Pacific/SPacific_Weather.htm

6.    Check the Pacific Puddle Jump ‘Files’ section on Weather, there are usually some good, updated documents there.  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pacificpuddlejump/

7.  Bruce Balan from s/v Migration wrote a great article in the Feb 2011 Latitude 38 entitled "Fair Weather Sailor - Pacific Weather Simplified"  You can find the article here:  http://svsoggypaws.com/files/Migrations-PacWxSimplified.pdf

South Pacific Weather Sources - At Sea

South Pacific Weather Sources - Internet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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